(Photo: Courtesy of Canada Soccer)
The year 2017 was another golden one for current and former League1 Ontario players and the Canadian National Team program.
40 League1 players represented Canada at levels from U17 to Senior Men's and Women's teams in 2017 (with two players even nominated for respective U20 Player of the Year Awards).
All told, a total of 54 League1 players were invited to National Team camps over the year.
This marks a small drop from 2016, when 49 League1 players donned the red and white for Canada, but demonstrates an encouraging consistency of representation of Ontario-based division III level players at the national team level.
Raheem Edwards (Photo: Courtesy of Canada Soccer)
At the top of the list were five players that represented Canada at Senior level.
Cyle Larin (Orlando City FC/ Sigma FC) and Mark Anthony Kaye (Louisville City FC/ Toronto FC III) were ever present in the Men's National Team lineups, making appearances in friendlies against Curacao (June 13), Jamaica and El Salvador, as well as in the Gold Cup in the USA (July 4 - July 21).
Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC/ ANB Futbol/ Internacional) also played minutes in the three friendlies, but was an unused sub in the Gold Cup.
Over on the women's side, Sarah Stratigakis (Michigan/ Aurora) appeared in the CWNT's Vancouver-based 3-2 friendly victory over Mexico (Feb 4).
Striker Alex Lamontagne (Syracuse/ Durham United FA) joined Stratigakis on the CWNT for the Algarve Cup (Feb 26 - March 9) in Portugal in late winter/ early Spring.
At U23 men's level, Kwame Awuah (New York City FC/ Sigma FC) and Mark Gonzalez (Reno 1868/ Sigma FC) joined Mark Anthony Kaye at the Qatar Tournament (March 22-29).
Sarah Stratigakis (Photo: Canada Soccer)
At U20 levels, two former League1 players were nominated for Player of the Year honours - Luca Uccello (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III) and Sarah Stratigakis. Although neither player ultimately won the award, it was a tip of the hat that acknowledges the progress both players have made at international level.
All told, the U20 level was flush with League1 representation with 19 players making appearances for both the men's and women's teams.
Six players - Maya Antoine (Vancouver Whitecaps/ Vaughan Azzurri); Samantha Chang (Unionville Milliken); Rylee Foster (West Virginia/ Vaughan Azzurri); Vital Kats (Kent State University/ Aurora FC); Jessica Lisi (Memphis/ Woodbridge Strikers) and Lauren Raimondo (Harvard/ Woodbridge Strikers) - joined Sarah Stratigakis in the squad for the U20 Series in Australia (June 29 - July 9).
On the men's end, 12 players were involved in either/ both the International Series in Panama (Jan 17) or the CONCACAF MU20 Championship (Feb).
This list includes:
Dante Campbell (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Aidan Daniels (Toronto FC II; Toronto FC III); Richie Ennin (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Liam Fraser (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Dayonn Harris (Penn State/ Vaughan Azzurri); Shaan Hundal (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Malik Johnson (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Kamal Miller (Syracuse University/ Vaughan Azzurri); Dayne St. Clair (University of Maryland/ Vaughan Azzurri); Tristan Borges (SC Heerenveen/ Toronto FC III); Emmanuel Zambizis (Iraklis 1908/ Vaughan Azzurri) and Luca Uccello.
Luca Uccello (Photo: Courtesy of Canada Soccer)
13 more players were selected by the Canada men's and women's U17 programs.
Alongside Maya Antoine, Anna Karpenko (Vaughan Azzurri); Kaila Novak (FC London) and Olivia Scott (Aurora FC) made appearances at the U17 Series in China (July 6 - July 17).
At the men's CONCACAF U17 Championship in Panama (April 15-29), League1 players' Zakaria Abdi (Toronto FC III); Gianluca Catalano (Toronto FC III); Kunle Dada-Luke (Toronto FC III); Julian Dunn-Johnson (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Jordan Faria (Toronto FC III); Terique Mohammed (Toronto FC III); Noble Okello (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Rocco Romeo (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Sebastian Sgarbossa (Toronto FC III) and Steffen Yeates (Toronto FC III) were heavily involved.
Lastly, League1 Ontario had representation at the CONCACAF Men's Beach Soccer Championship in Bahrain (Feb 17-Feb 27) as well, with Marc Jankovic (Masters FA Saints) and Jacob Orellana (Masters FA Saints/ Internacional) showing their skills at the beach variation of the game.
Mark Jankovic (white top, right) (Photo: Courtesy of Canada Soccer)
In addition to competitive appearances, 54 players were invited into various national team camps for monitoring, ID or preparation for tournaments.
The full list of League1 Ontario attendees at Canada Soccer camps is below:
CMNT - 5x players
Camp in USA (Jan 12-18): Molham Babouli (Al Ain/ Toronto FC III); Raheem Edwards
Gold Cup pre-tournament Camp (June 28-July 4): Raheem Edwards; Mark Anthony Kaye;
Camp in Canada and USA (Oct 2 - 9): Kwame Awuah; Raheem Edwards; Mark-Anthony Kaye; Cyle Larin;
CWNT - 5x players
Camp in USA (Jan 20-28): Alex Lamontagne; Sarah Stratigakis
EXCELeration Camp in Burnaby (May 20-May 28): Maya Antoine; Kennedy Faulknor (Unionville Milliken); Alex Lamontagne; Lauren Raimondo; Sarah Stratigakis
Molham Babouli (Photo: Courtesy of Canada Soccer)
WU20 - 14x players
EXCEL camp in Burnaby (Feb 9-13): Samantha Chang; Mollie Eriksson (West Ottawa SC); Nadya Gill (Quinnipac/ Vaughan Azzurri); Nicole Kozlova (Woodbridge Strikers); Jessica Lisi; Marissa Zucchetto (Texas Tech/ Unionville Milliken SC)
EXCEL U20 Camp in Burnaby (March 12-21): Samantha Chang; Mikayla Dayes (Maryland/ Toronto Blizzard); Rylee Foster; Vital Kats; Jessica Lisi; Lauren Raimondo;
EXCEL U20 Camp in Burnaby (Aug 11 - Aug 18): Maya Antoine; Samantha Chang; Malikae Dayes (Maryland/ Toronto Blizzard); Mollie Eriksson; Kennedy Faulknor; Shana Flynn (Unionville Milliken SC); Rylee Foster; Anna Karpenko; Vital Kats; Jessica Lisi; Sarah Owusu (Toronto Blizzard); Lauren Raimondo;
EXCEL U20 Camp in Burnaby (Dec 10 - 17): Maya Antoine; Samantha Chang; Malikae Dayes; Mollie Eriksson; Kennedy Faulknor; Shana Flynn; Rylee Foster; Vital Kats; Jessica Lisi; Lauren Raimondo; Sarah Stratigakis
MU20 - 14x players
Camp in Toronto (Jan 12 - 16): Dante Campbell; Aidan Daniels; Richie Ennin (Toronto FC II/ Toronto FC III); Duwayne Ewart (Durham United FA); Liam Fraser; Dayonn Harris; Shaan Hundal; Malik Johnson; Ignazio Muccilli (Jacksonville/ Woodbridge Strikers); Dayne St-Clair; Luca Uccello;
Camp in Mexico (Jan 27-Feb 4): Dante Campbell; Aidan Daniels; Richie Ennin; Liam Fraser; Dayonn Harris; Shaan Hundal; Kamal Miller; Dayne St. Clair; Luca Uccello; Emmanuel Zambizis.
Jordan Faria (Photo: Courtesy of Canada Soccer)
MU17 - 10x players
U17 CONCACAF Prep Camp in Toronto (March 30 - April 10): Zakaria Abdi; Gianluca Catalano; Kunle Dada-Luke; Julian Dunn-Johnson; Jordan Faria; Terique Mohammed; Noble Okello; Rocco Romeo; Sebastien Sgarbossa; Steffen Yeates.
WU17 - 6x players
EXCEL ID Camp in Laval (Feb 20-Feb 23): Maya Antoine; Alexia Cajilig (Durham United FA); Anna Karpenko; Olivia Scott; Taliyah Walker (Unionville Millken SC)
EXCEL U17 Camp in Burnaby (April 17-25): Maya Antoine; Anna Karpenko; Olivia Scott; Taliyah Walker
EXCEL U17 Camp in Burnaby (May 29-June 4): Maya Antoine; Anna Karpenko; Kaila Novak; Olivia Scott; Taliyah Walker
EXCEL U17 Camp in Burnaby (Sept 28 - Oct 6): Maya Antoine; Olivia Cooke (West Ottawa SC); Anna Karpenko; Kaila Novak; Jade Rose (Unionville Milliken SC); Olivia Scott
EXCEL U17 Camp in Burnaby (Nov 22 - 29): Maya Antoine; Olivia Cooke; Anna Karpenko; Kaila Novak; Jade Rose.